Backup systems failed in St. John's phone outage

Bell Aliant says it's going to launch an investigation into how 100,000 phone customers in St. John's and internet clients all over Newfoundland lost service late Friday.

Telephones were operating again Saturday morning after a power cable shorted at a switching station in St. John's, starting a small fire that led to a loss of service for five hours. But it's not clear why backup systems didn't kick in, Bell Aliant spokeswoman Brenda Reid said. The company has all kinds of redundant systems, so "this particular type of outage is unprecedented," she said. "We'll certainly investigate to see what occurred."

The fire, reported at the Bell Aliant building in the Allandale neighbourhood of the city, broke out about 10 p.m. local time. A technician at the scene extinguished the fire quickly before firefighters arrived, Reid said. There was no 911 service during the outage, but police said there were no major emergencies. Automated bank machines and credit cards were unusable because phone lines were out. Flights continued to land at St. John's airport throughout the evening, but controllers were unable to contact other airports.

Technicians worked for hours on the problem, and by 3 a.m. local time Saturday, Aliant said phone service had been restored. Internet service was back a few hours later.

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Cool! Me and my mom went looking, all hell looked like it broke loose in the building. It's really stupid though, the backup system is in the same building as the main system. Anyway, it's cool to make Neowin front page, us Newfies getting attention :D

It was pretty freaky though, I had friends over, and we went out not knowing cell phones weren't working. Apparently, their parents went crazy trying to find them.

lol all the Newfies are happy here :P (I'm not a Newfie tho) I wonder if most people in this forum even know that Newfoundland is in Canada... :P
That would suck tho - to get cut off like that... I didn't think about the ATMs, credit cards, and AIRPORTS wouldn't work Good thing nothing serious happened there...

I hate Aliant. They're customer support sucks. My modem blew out back in may and they insisted it was a cable not the modem as I had been told by someone who knew what they where talking about. After 3 days, I finally called them up and demanded a modem. And then guess what? They sent me a power supply for a modem. Anyway, It was eventually resolved, but I'm not surprised about this piece of news.

WHOAH! We're in the news! Hurrah for Newfies !

Man this outage really sucked but the service going wonky all week though like dissconnecting(with DSL) when i was trying to d/l some WoW patches.

Come to think of it, this was BAD but not quite as BAD when some fools cut the main phone line and killed all the phones in most of the province back a few years ago. I'm not sure if they ever found the exact culprits of that one.